Good schools are the cornerstone of good communities, and nowhere is that more true than in the Beach Cities and South Bay. With many home buyers searching for specific school districts, and sometimes even specific schools, the list below should provide assistance as to how they rate and compare with one another. Contact us to determine what neighborhoods attend what schools.
By Keith Kyle
A few of the many benefits of living near the beach are the wonderful ocean views and ocean breezes that make life here so unique. These ocean views have immeasurable value from both a quality of life aspect as well as a significant monetary impact. In many of the South Bay cities these views are unprotected and it’s not rare for a home’s stunning ocean views to disappear when the one story home next door gets torn down and new and much larger home replaces it.
Certain areas of Torrance are the exception. Primarily found in the Hollywood Riviera and Seaside Ranchos neighborhoods the city has incorporated much stricter building guidelines known as the “Hillside Overlay” area. (see map below)
In 1977, the Hillside Overlay Area was established in Torrance, CA in order to address issues concerning building, remodeling, and protecting views and privacy. All new construction (meaning both new homes and expansions on current structures) are subject to review and input by neighbors including “flagging” where a mock up of the future structure are marked with plastic flags to approximate the outlines of any proposed addition to the structure prior to permit approval so that neighborhood input may be obtained.
The basics of the hillside overlay are as follows: Upon receipt of the complete application, the Community Development Director shall set a date, time and place for a public hearing thereon as soon as practicable and shall send notice thereof to the owners of land included within a three hundred (300) foot radius of the exterior boundaries of the land for which the permit is sought
No construction and no remodeling or enlargement of a building or structure shall be permitted unless the Planning Commission (or the City Council on appeal) shall find that the location and size of the building or structure, or the location and size of the remodeled or enlarged portions of the building or structure, have been planned and designed in such a manner as to comply with the following provisions:
- The proposed development will not have an adverse impact upon the view, light, air and privacy of other properties in the vicinity;
- The development has been located, planned and designed so as to cause the least intrusion on the views, light, air and privacy of other properties in the vicinity;
- The design provides an orderly and attractive development in harmony with other properties in the vicinity;
- The design will not have a harmful impact upon the land values and investment of other properties in the vicinity;
- Granting such application would not be materially detrimental to the public welfare and to other properties in the vicinity;
- The proposed development will not cause or result in an adverse cumulative impact on other properties in the vicinity.
One of the best kept secrets in all Torrance and the South Bay is the neighborhood of Victoria Knolls. Located in the area of Walteria, Victoria Knolls is located east of PCH and just east of Crenshaw Blvd. It is accessible by only one road and this factor gives it a sense of privacy, security and isolation. In addition the area is located on the north facing side of the Palos Verdes peninsula and often offers striking city lights views. Homes in the area generally start in the low $600,000’s for an original single family home and goes up from there depending on age, view, size and location. It offers a great and safe feel with tree lined streets, very little traffic, and a community that all seems to know each other.
Most people don’t even know the neighborhood exists and when they do accidentally stumble on it they can’t believe it’s a part of Torrance. As it’s up on the hill on the north side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula it’s nothing like the flat neighborhoods people think of when the envision Torrance.
With the South Bay housing market in a frenzy and so many “flipped” homes for sale, buyers need to be very cautious rushing into the purchase of a home based on the beautiful cosmetic updates. Flipped homes are often originally bank owned or distressed sales in very poor condition and it is usually purchased by investors looking to do the least amount of work to get the greatest return. Updates are often primarily cosmetic and it is absolutely in the buyers best interest to have a home inspection. The picture below was a recent home that I saw and in my eyes if they can’t even properly paint the outside this is a pretty good indication that this was done quickly and cheaply. Buyer beware!
Welcome to Torrance real estate. We have strived to offer the very best information and home search features on a local website designed specifically for Torrance home buyers and sellers. As local Torrance and Redondo Beach real estate specialists we understand how unique Torrance is and how different and distinct the various areas can be. From oceanfront homes in the Hollywood Riviera, to duplex and income properties in the County Strip area…..we can help. Search for homes with our free Torrance MLS access or allow us to do the hard work for you with our FREE daily listing updates and know about new homes first. Our website offers information on real estate markets and trends in each neighborhood, recent home sales and prices, current off market homes and MLS listings, short sales and foreclosures and information for home sellers to find out what their Torrance home is worth and how we have been so successful at marketing and selling homes in the area. We hope that our website is a great place to start for all of your Torrance real estate needs. Contact us as any time for questions or more information.
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Many buyers actively seek Torrance neighborhoods for the wonderful community feel, tree lined streets, great schools and family friendly vibe. Nowhere is this more embodied than in the Seaside Ranchos area of South Redondo Beach. The Seaside Ranchos neighborhood is often called the Christmas Lights area due to the annual show put on by the residents. Sitting just North of Pacific Coast Highway as it turns inland near the Palos Valos Peninsula the neighborhood is a collection of beautiful homes on larger lots. Most homes are generally updated and upgraded versions of the original beach homes built with fewer “McMansions” than in many other South Bay neighborhoods. The majority of the homes offer 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and due to the much larger lots than in most areas of Torrance often have fantastic backyards. The tree lined streets offer a very safe and friendly feel and give the area it’s “Christmas Lights” nickname as all of the community trees are wrapped in white lights during the holidays and rare is the home that isn’t decorated with lights and decorations. The area has become so popular during the holidays that traffic is restricted in the evenings and cars line up for seemingly hours to drive through the spectacular display. Prices generally start in the low $800s and can price over the $2.0M mark for some of the most impressive homes on oversized lots.
Current South Torrance and Seaside Ranchos homes for sale
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